Kids bike refurb

I've got a bike for my daughter that was her older cousins, it's been left out in the rain by the look of it but is actually an unused bike.

I would like to remove the rust and replace things like handlebar grips and whatever else like cables/brake pads if necessary. I have no prior experience of doing something like this but have recently got a motorbike and hope to do all the maintenance and repairs on it myself. I would like to start with a small project like this bike and make it nice for my daughter.

I read that oxalic acid is good for removing rust, can I buy it off the shelf? I've got five days off work and would like to spend an hour or two each night on this. I have a decent car toolkit with wrenches and screwdrivers, pliers and so on.

What's the best way to go about this?

I've tried to upload pics from my phone but it just isn't happening. The ones I posted here (hopefully) are very poor quality, apologies.

**Edit; nope, not worked. How do I post pics using img tag/button?


  • Giraffoto
    Giraffoto Posts: 2,078
    It's possible and a very worthwhile project - I've just done something similar with a bright yellow Spesh. Hotrock. To answer your questions in no particular order . . .

    Oxalic acid is poisonous, and not a good thing to tackle rust with. Phosphoric acid will get the job done but is not something you can just buy and try. Forget acids. Either strip the components from the frame and get it shot blasted and powder coated, or get the paint off it yourself and re-spray it with rattle cans. Both can get good results.

    Equip yourself with metric allen keys in the sizes 3-4-5-6mm, a 15mm open-ended spanner (for the pedals) and a set of metric combination spanners 8-9-10-11-12mm. These will fit most things. Also a good pair of pliers and a tool for whatever sort of bottom bracket you have.

    Disassemble, clean, re-grease and re-assemble all of the parts you've taken off except the chain. Get a new chain. You can find out how to do these jobs on the Park Tools website.

    Replace the contact parts - pedals, grips and saddle - and it'll look almost new.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    It may not be worth spending too much money on, my lads' bikes (which are often outside) are kept servicable but look scruffy.

    You haven't said what age your daughter is - my youngest (3) is just getting going on a bike and if the brakes are too tough to activate he wont learn to use them, so I've made sure it's got new pads and that the cables are free and mechanisms are lubricated (note - don't lubricate the cables).

    You should think about replacing all the cables - it's easy enough to do but you need to invest in a decent cable cutter otherwise you'll just mangle them.

    You may want to check the wheel bearings, make sure that they are properly lubricated and tight. (You need a cone spanner for that job).
  • baudman
    baudman Posts: 757
    Yup - new cables can make a massive difference. I do generally lube cables - just a bit of quality chain lube in there.

    For rust, it's amazing what vegetable/olive oil and ScotchBrite dish scourers (the plastic ones) will do to chrome - provided it's not too far gone.

    Also - get her involved. She'll likely form a bond with the bike that's difficult to achieve through other means.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike